Home > Restaurants > In the Frig – Peppy’s Hamburg Grill

In the Frig – Peppy’s Hamburg Grill

Lunch from Peppy’s Grill
1004 Virginia Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46203
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Peppy's Hamburg Grill
Peppy Grill on Urbanspoon

Yes, you will see signs that liken “airports to…assholes” and celebrate bad attitudes! And yes, you might see a grouchy-looking lady fry cook, sporting a Peppy’s apron. (I think the irony is intentional). But what you will not see? Valet parking, beautiful perky hostesses and a table set with salad forks! This is a typical diner! Small, non-descript, with a small counter and tables fronting the grill. They do have a bigger “dining room” which features an animated picture of a lovely beach, just what you thought you might see outside of a small, greasy diner!

What’s on the menu?
There’s no fusion cuisine or scallops done with delicate herbs in some foo-foo wine reduction. Just food cooked on a grill or in a fryer. Fries, hamburgers, eggs, bacon; all of these high-fat, warm and greasy lovelies are available 24 hours a day! It’s a beautiful thing! For our “appetizer” we had mozzarella cheese sticks, deep-fried and served with a small microwaveable marinara sauce. No, the cheese sticks were not homemade, but they were deep-fried, so what’s not to like? And no, the marinara was not homemade either. It was not so delicious, but it was tasty and a good complement to its frozen companion.


If you watch Three Sheets on the Fine Living Channel (Zane Lamfrey recent travels took him to Hamburg), you will know that the city of Hamburg is in Germany but was not named after a hamburger, but after a castle called Hammaburg.  The hamburg steak was introduced to America by the Germans as a hamburger, which means of Hamburg.  So a hamburger is really just a ground beef pattie of “Hamburg.” Thus the name! WOW FoodieGal, that’s great, but what does it have to do with Peppy’s?” Nothing really, it’s just a good transition from the last paragraph to talk about the hamburgers.  The hamburgers are really good and you can get them loaded up with bacon, onions and other standard items such as lettuce, tomato, pickle, etc.

My husband ordered the cheesy-meaty item above – sans the fixins! (he’s a purist and just eats his cheeseburgers plain!).  Note to the burger connosieur: your peppy fry cook (who may look grouchy) will smush the burger onto the grill with the spatula. The connosieur reading this  just flinched at the image of flattening the hamburger, juices pouring out of the burger and onto the spitting grill. This is not the proper way to cook a burger. THAT SAID, the burger was still good. It still retained some juiciness and it tasted like a “diner burger” for it’s juice joined blood of a thousand others and thus was endowed with the hamburgs of years past!

Alongside my hubby’s cheeseburger were Peppy’s seasoned “fries.” Now, these were not the skinny fries you get at McDonald’s or In-n-Out burger (YUM, by the way, total YUM), these were home fries, french onion flavored home fries served with …ranch dressing. Sounds a little odd, right? Maybe gross? But no, actually pretty good. Again, the ranch dressing came in on of those small little peel back packages you get with your salad at the airport, but the marriage of the french onion taste and the ranch dressing was pretty good. I can only imagine how good it would taste at 2am after an evening of consuming cheap cold beers and bowling! I bet it would taste like food of the Gods!

patty melt

I had to have a diner classic and so ordered a patty melt (above). It was pretty good. The hamburger wasn’t so juicy, but the grilled onions gave the appropriate “patty melt” flavor. I dunked bites of the crispy burger in thick globs of  mustard, and it was pretty fulfilling! I got it with chips, but didn’t eat them. I instead helped my hubby gobble up the seasoned fries.

Overall, it was a good experience. I originally ordered the chili and unfortunately, they had run out. Their chili is homemade so I bet it’s ridiculously good in its simplicity and beany saucy goodness.  The bill was a little less than $20, so a great cheap meal.

We went on a Saturday around 1:30pm, so it was relatively empty. The guests that were there were a might crusty, perhaps just waking up from a long night of rowdy drinking and multiple hands of Texas Hold ‘Em. We were told by another pierced and tatooed fry cook that it “gets interesting around 3am.”  But I am sure that only lends to Peppy’s “je ne sais quas.” (French for a certain “I don’t know” Although, there’s nothing French about the Hamburg grill). This place has great character – a place where you will see every walk of life, 24 hours a day, seeking out good food. So be adventurous, leave the comfort of the suburbs and check out Peppy’s! It’s open 24 hours a day- so you have no excuse about finding the time!

How do you get there?
Seriously, I would google it. I only know how to get there by just driving. What I would do? I would hop on the interstate, find my way to 70West and get off on McCarthy – near Eli Lilly – then I would hunt and peck my way there. It’s easy to find if you know the area and have a Garmin! It’s just north of Fountain Square proper off of Virginia Avenue!

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